Adopted at the 20th Congress of the CPI(M), Kozhikode, April 4-9, 2012
The 20th Congress of the CPI (M) expresses deep concern at the failure of the Indian state to ensure adequate employment opportunities for the masses in rural and urban areas. The most recent data point to a grim future for millions of young men and women if the present policies are to continue. It also shows that the much proclaimed growth story of the Indian economy is a jobless and jobloss growth.
According to the National Sample Survey data for 2009-10, there is a sharp decrease in employment growth in India, from an annual rate of around 2.7 per cent during 2000-2005 to only 0.8 per cent during 2005-2010. Growth in nonagricultural employment fell from 4.65 per cent per year to 2.53 per cent, even at a time when annual GDP growth was above 8 per cent, during the latter period. The MGNREGA has not been able to ensure more than 40 to 50 days of work per household in a year, despite the statutory commitment to provide 100 days of work.
The unemployment rate for the youth in the 15 to 29 years age group remains at very high levels. For rural young males it was 10.9 per cent and for rural young females 12 per cent. The figures in urban areas is equally disturbing, at 10.5 per cent for young men and as high as 18.9 per cent for young women. In both the rural and urban areas, unemployment rate among the educated(secondary and above) persons of 15 years old and above was higher than those whose education level was lower than secondary school.
Even though large numbers of unemployed do not register themselves at the Government employment exchanges, the number of job seekers registered with the 966 employment exchanges across the country stood at a staggering 3.81 crore at the end of 2009, out of which 2.9 crore were educated jobseekers and 90 lakh uneducated jobseekers. As against the registration of over 62 lakh job seekers in 2011, only 4.7 lakh placements were made through employment exchanges.
In this situation of galloping unemployment, the 20th Congress of the CPI (M) strongly protests against the virtual ban on recruitments by the Central Government and public sector units. The 20th Congress also strongly protests against the policy of abolition of vacant posts in various government departments being pursued by the government. There are above 10 lakh vacancies lying unfilled in various central government departments, with the number of unfilled vacancies in the police and defence forces alone amount to over 7 lakh.
The number of vacancies in Group C and erstwhile Group D posts in the railways as on 1st April 2011 was over 2.2 lakh. Vacancies also exist for skilled professionals such as teachers, doctors, scientists, statisticians, economists etc. Half of these vacancies belong to SC, ST and OBC categories.
Since the Government which is the main employer in the organized sector refuses to take measures to expand employment opportunities, it is hardly surprising that the total organized sector employment in India was only 2.87 crore in 2010, out of a total workforce of over 46 crore (i.e. around 6%). Employment in the organized sector, public and private combined, has grown by only 2.3 per cent in 2009 and 1.9 per cent in 2010.
This reveals the real nature of India’s much proclaimed growth story. An utterly lopsided pattern of growth has meant that while agriculture’s share in GDP has declined to just 15 per cent today, the workforce dependent on agriculture still remains as high as 52 per cent. Growth in the services and industrial sectors is failing to generate adequate jobs to absorb surplus workforce from agriculture.
Such jobless growth is also creating a growing divide between the urban and the rural areas and widening socio-economic inequalities in an unprecedented manner.
The 20th Congress of the CPI (M) calls upon its units to organize the unemployed people, particularly the youth, and launch agitations on the following demands:
- Lift the ban on recruitment in different Central and State Government departments and PSEs; Stop the policy of abolition of vacant posts and fill all vacancies
- Provide unemployment allowance to the registered unemployed; Modernize employment exchanges
- Expand the scope of the MGNREGA to all individuals (not only to households) and enhance the cap of 100 days
- Initiate Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme at minimum wages with a minimum of one-third jobs reserved for women
- Enhance financial support for self-employment schemes, SHGs and small enterprises
- Release employment data along with quarterly GDP estimates